Sidewalk Style: All Knit Up

We stop a store manager with a penchant for wool tights and lingerie-inspired outfits.

Shanika Wright, 27
Women’s-department manager, Urban Outfitters in DC’s Chinatown

What she’s wearing:
Dress from the Urban Outfitters clearance rack, Salvation Army belt and little boy’s blazer, sweater-knit tights from Target, Aubaine shark’s-tooth necklace, vintage Justin boots, head wrap from a fabric store (“$2 a yard!”), pin with a black-and-white photo of Marcus Garvey, and various rings and bracelets—many borrowed from her boyfriend.

Do you borrow a lot of your boyfriend’s stuff?
“We wear the other one’s things all the time. I like to wear his scarves, cardigans, and button-up shirts. I can’t fit into his pants or I’d wear those, too. I’ll wear a half slip, his oversize sweater, some knit tights, and my boots. That’s basically my favorite outfit right now.”

Do you shop much at Urban Outfitters?
“I buy mostly Urban Renewal. They take vintage materials and make them new again. I’m all about the green thing. I like what the company stands for and how every aesthetic aspect comes together—the music and display components.”

What are your inspirations?
“The Hirshhorn Museum, Vincent Gallo movies, Basquiat, African street vendors, old Brazilian movies, and Brazilian fashion in the ’40s. I’ve been watching the movie Madame Satã for five days straight now. It’ll blow your mind. It’s going to be the new thing with the black queens in Washington. There’ll be fire in the streets!”

It must be fun getting dressed for such a creative job.
“I wake up at 4:30 AM, light two candles, and pick out what to wear. So I’ve basically been getting dressed in the dark for two months. I’ll get to work and not realize how wrinkled my pants are or that two buttons are missing. I think it just adds to the ‘me’ thing.”

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?

“A cream-colored knee-length dress by a line called Pins and Needles. It’s cotton and drop-waist. It’s very period, like a little girl in the 1920s. I love the 1920s and 1970s, but under no circumstances would I wear bell-bottoms.”

Rachel says:
Take inspiration from Shanika’s favorite outfit—and the spring 2010 runways—and incorporate lingerie into your everyday wardrobe. See this roundup for inspiration.

Weigh in on Shanika’s look!

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